Thursday, August 19, 2010

Middleman drove minister's car before Jethava's murder

Middleman drove minister's car before Jethava's murder
Times of India

In a strange coincidence, Shiva Pachan, the man detained by the crime branch in the murder of whistleblower and RTI activist Amit Jethava, worked temporarily for a former minister.

Pachan had, for a month, driven the car for this man who was a minister of state in the Modi government before Jethava's murder.

Jethava was killed on July 20 outside Gujarat high court, reportedly after he exposed illegal mining in Gir by influential people through RTI applications.

Pachan, suspected to have introduced the killer Shailesh Pandya to constable Bahadursinh Wadher from Kodinar, is a bootlegger from Patan and used to ferry the liquor himself. He could easily hoodwink the cops and smuggle liquor into Gujarat. He also has an attempt to murder case against him in Patan, in which he was declared an absconder. The minister probably did not know Pachan's background, said sources.

Wadher was arrested on Tuesday for giving the supari for killing Jethava. He got to know Pachan when he was in the state prohibition squad. When Pachan was jailed in a kidnapping case, Wadher helped him get parole in April this year. It was during this parole that Pachan took up the job of the minister's chauffeur. It was an MP from Saurashtra who got Pachan and the minister together and got him the temporary job, when the minister had stopped using the official car and also did not keep a personal security officer (PSO).

So, Pachan played a dual role of chauffeur and bodyguard for this particular minister. Wadher then approached him with the Jethava job and he quit the driver's job. When contacted, crime branch officials claimed they did not know about this little stint of Pachan.

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